The Great Star Trek Enterprise Rewatch: Acquisition

Emerging from the decontamination chamber, Trip is horrified to discover that the entire Enterprise crew is unconscious – and that aliens are busy looting the ship. The culprits are none other than the Ferengi, but when they reawaken Archer in order to find out the location of the ship’s vault, the captain is able to work with Trip to foil their plans.

Any Star Trek fan worth their salt would immediately realise from the title that this is going to be a Ferengi episode. At that point, you might be tempted to recoil in horror – have we not already had enough stupid Ferengi episodes to last a lifetime? That being said, whilst it makes me uneasy to introduce the Ferengi in a pre-TOS era, this is not a bad episode. Even my viewing companion called it “fun”.

Like the first half of The Magnificent Ferengi, Acquisition is surprisingly entertaining, with many great moments. There’s the Ferengi encounter with a pedal bin, and of course their attempt to talk to Porthos – how could a being with such large ears not be sentient?

We also see a surprisingly deceptive side of T’Pol here – much as I’d like to say that it’s a legitimate development after her emotion experiments in Fusion, one can’t help feeling that it’s just there as narrative convenience.

Franchise nods

This episode re-introduces the Ferengi, a race we know and tolerate from the 24th century series, but who never appeared in TOS. The upshot of this pre-TOS encounter seems to be that the Ferengi decided to leave humanity alone for a while, with proper first contact not taking place for another 200 years.

Familiar faces Ethan Phillips (Neelix) and Jeffrey Combs don the lobes for this episode.

Other points

  • Is there no market for male slaves in the 22nd century? I demand equal opportunities in the slave market.
  • At this point in time, there are a mere 173 Rules of Acquisition – by the time of DS9, there are of course a solid 285.
  • T’Pol has to give oo-mox to a Ferengi, which of course is essentially the same as us seeing a character giving a human male a hand job.

Summary – Acquisition: “I can’t lock onto its language.”

“It’s a lower life-form, you fool! Probably the captain’s next meal.”

“Don’t be so sure. Look at the size of its ears!”

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